Alicia Sanchez, a longtime labor and Latino community activist in Sonoma County, will receive the 2010 Jack Green Civil Liberties Award during the annual American Civil Liberties Union event next Friday.
The daughter of impoverished farmworkers from Mexico, Sanchez was born in Texas and has been active in community organizing in Sonoma County since 1986. She has long been known for her fiery and inspirational speeches at rallies and public demonstrations.
“I believe that, when a boss looks out this window, he should see a rainbow — a black person, a brown person and a white person,” she said in a statement.
Information on the event, held at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Hall, can be found at the organization's Website at aclusonoma.org.
Previously, Sanchez has been honored with award recognitions from the YWCA, the California Human Development Corp., the California legislature, the Peace and Justice Center and Voces Cruzando Fronteras. In 1999, The Press Democrat named her one of the top 50 most influential individuals in the county's history.
After college, she began working with Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers of America in rural California. During her time in Sonoma County, she worked for the California Human Development Corp., the Service Employees International Union, the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union and the California Nurses Association. She is a founding member of Pueblos Unidos and has long been active in Mujeres Unidas.
The award is presented annually by the ACLU in memory of the labor organizer who was tarred and feathered for his union activism in Sonoma County in the 1930s. The keynote speaker for Friday's event is Aundré Herron, a senior staff attorney with the California Appellate Project representing death row inmates. She also performs stand-up comedy at Bay Area clubs.